Safari Rally Tracking System tops a Million Users

Throughout the 2011 Safari Rally, Race4Change and Ferdinand Porsche Magazine pushed large numbers of users towards the Safari Rally’s live tracking tools, overlaid with Google Earth. We used it every stage and found it invaluable in keeping up with progress and relaying information to the team on the ground. Safari have just released a press statement claiming over a million users during the event: that is good stuff! Here’s the story:

The Safari rally has always been known for its popularity with spectators and the Kenya Airways East African Safari Classic Rally has carried on this tradition. This was apparent not only in the number of people out watching the rally itself, but also in the number of people who were following the rally virtually.

This year, for the first time, the East African Safari Classic Rally employed a safety tracking system so the progress of all cars could be followed and watched by the organisers. This is primarily for safety reasons, but it also allows all those friends, families and general Safari fans to watch the rally in the comfort of their own home. The service was available via Google Earth on the East African Safari Classic Rally website and its popularity was astounding.

“On the second day we noticed the performance of the web server was very slow,” said Peter Silberberg, MD of Rally Management Systems who provided the safety tracking. “And we realised all the memory available on the server was being used. We looked at the activity log file for the first two days and saw that it had shot up to 80GB. There is no direct way to translate this into numbers of users but, to give you some idea, for a normal World Rally Championship event we will typically have about a quarter of a million users and we only use 3 GB over three days. We reckon we had millions of users rather than hundreds of thousands.” Indeed emails were arriving from all over the world to thank the organisation for the system.

After eight days of rallying through true Safari conditions, the crews and service teams are now winding down from the buzz of competition. However, as they return to normal life, their memories of this year’s Safari rally will undoubtedly remain with them. In the words of Eric Cecil who founded the East African Safari Rally in 1953: “To sleep, sleep and perchance to dream…….OF THE NEXT SAFARI.”

About John Glynn

John Glynn is the owner of Ferdinand Porsche Magazine and resident Race4Change media expert & blogger. John owns five classic Porsche cars and knows the Porsche scene inside out. Check out his articles on the Ferdinand Porsche Blog at
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One Response to Safari Rally Tracking System tops a Million Users

  1. Nigel Dixon says:

    Small detail, but streaming Google Earth will use a LOT more broadband than a simple website not using a high-end user interface such as Google Earth. A counter on the website might have been a more accurate way of determining visitors. Bandwidth usage only proves that a lot of live streaming went on. I would dig a little deeper on those online numbers…

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